I have been working on decorations for Lea's graduation party for a couple days now. I really shouldn't be. There are more important things to be done. But creating is what I do. I can do this part. I can control this part. This part keeps my hands busy and allows my mind to slip subconsciously into a state that is damn near Zen. This is good -- because left to it's own devices, my brain has been an absolute mess for a couple weeks. The prevalent themes are: I can't believe my baby is graduating and I wish my dad were here to see this -- my dad should be here to see this, peppered with a lot of wondering how much food is enough because whose brilliant idea was it to have an open house with no head count, anyway?
Screw it -- let's make paper flowers and bunting. Activate hands; deactivate brain. It's better for everyone this way.
I was working on a project that was missing something, but I couldn't decide exactly what. Flowers weren't right -- but it needed something colorful; dimensional, but only subtly so. Eureka! Fetch Momma her button box!
I dumped the buttons I'd amassed throughout the years on top of my party notes and lists and started sifting through them, looking for the best ones to suit my need.
It was a happy chore, unlike the dusting and vacuuming that I was neglecting in order to do it.
And then I saw it.
Peter Fucking Rabbit.
Peter was a leftover button from a sweater I'd made when I was expecting Lea. We didn't even know she was Lea, yet. At that point, she might have been Evan. Peter seemed sort of neutral to me. I remembered standing there in the fabric store in front of all of the cute buttons, trying to find something that would be just right for a little person I'd not yet met but who already owned my heart. The sweater was simple and white -- the only color was from these little buttons.
I picked up this button and promptly lost my shit.
I mentioned that I've been kind of a mess for weeks -- and Tom and the girls will certainly vouch for that. I tear up over nothing and lose my train of thought -- but I'd not actually cried.
Until I held that stupid button in my hand.
Ugly cry? Oh, you don't even want to know...
I'm glad, too.
A good cry is cathartic, more often than not.
I had a sweet baby. And now I have a beautiful daughter standing on the brink of adulthood. She worked so hard to get here -- overcame so many obstacles -- it is such an accomplishment. And she did it.
Damn, I'm proud of that child.
I wondered what button I would choose to put on a sweater for her now. And then it hit me -- I wouldn't choose. She would choose for herself. And it would be perfect.
And some day -- 20 years from now -- when a spare one rolls out of my button box -- I will probably weep, remembering this time -- when the whole world was in front of her.